Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 scale Kit No. 00434; Soviet Soldier - SCUD B Cre w; 175 parts (97 in grey styrene, 59 etched brass, 12 soft tan vinyl, 6 in brown styrene, 1 length of black vinyl tubing); retail price US$49.95
Advantages: complete crew for any SCUD B kit; specific accessories for both the 9P117M1 and 2P19 versions of the SCUD B
Disadvantages: cabling diagrams rather sketch and do not show missile conne ctions; no rank shown on any of the figures!
Rating: Recommended (Highly Recommended IF you have additional sources)
Recommendation: for any modeler doing any variant of the SCUD B missile sys tem
Dragon Models Limited released its first big kit of the SCUD B in 1992 but for more than 20 years it was the only one out there. In 2014 both Meng an d Trumpeter announced new SCUD B kits (Trumpeter was first on the street) a nd in 2015 Trumpeter followed that kit with the 2P19 tracked version on an IS/T-10 chassis. But both kits were missing a number of details as well as coming with only a training warhead coupled to the missile.
At the end of 2015 Trumpeter announced a kit for the crew of the SCUD B (s even figures) which seemed expensive, but when the kit showed up it actuall y including not only the crew as promised but upgrade/detailing sets for th e SCUD B missile itself and also for the MAZ-543 launcher vehicle. This alo ne makes the kit a worthwhile investment.
The kit provides seven figures and six AK rifles (four regular, two foldin g stock) and a number of other items. These items are primarily designed fo r the missile and the 9P117M1 launcher but the missile items will all fit p erfectly on the missile with the 2P19 as well.
Among the items included are a fret of etched brass that provides a wealth of small details not found in either original kit. These include access pa nels for the missile airframe and details for the rear of the launcher to i nclude MAZ taillight shrouds (F25, F26 with two PE-6/PE-9) and a shroud for the erection control box (H226 with PE-12).
They also provide the clamps which hold the cables in groups of two or thr ee with both their fittings (PE-14) and the clamps themselves (PE-11, PE-5) . These are designed to fit on bus fittings for the cables (W4) with small pips to cement the cables to them (W1). While this is well and good, Trumpe ter does NOT show you where they mount or where the cables attach to the mi ssile! There are diagrams available on the Internet and Facebook so some se arching is in order to find out how to attach them.
The set also includes two new warheads. The kit comes with an 8K14UT warhe ad which is a ballasted weight dummy for practice, so now the new kit offer s the early 9N33 warhead or the more common 8K14 warhead. To be precise, ne ither one is actually a warhead but a bus vehicle to carry a specific physi cs package providing a specific nuclear yield. The 9N33 was the first warhe ad and had packages for 5, 10 or 30 kilotons; the 8K14 was used with a vari ety of yields and two generations of physics packages that included 10, 100 , 200, 300 and 500 kiloton yields. There were dummy 8K14 warheads used for training so you can fit the 8K14 one (W5/W6) to the missile; different numb ers and colors of stripes were used to differentiate simulated yields with one or two white bands and one red band being noted in training sessions. T he tip was usually white or light tan (the leading cone section).
The kit also includes soft vinyl parts for the winterization kit for the M AZ-543 vehicle but only shows a thumbnail sketch of where they go on the bo x top. These consist of the grill mask (Z H1) with open (Z H1/H5) or closed (Z H3/H4) panels. Parts Z J1, J2, and J3 are for the grill on the battery box section of the bins behind the driver's cab and serve the same function s. I think parts Z J4-J7 are for the door windows in the launch and status cabins amidships with Z J4 and Z J7 being open and Z J5 and Z J6 being down and closed.
The kit provides seven nicely done figures but then does not show any of t hem with their rank! A SCUD B (tracked or wheeled) had a crew of seven: com mander, technical expert, fire control expert, driver, gunner, and two enli sted men to carry out the operations (the famous British term "other number s" applies here). The commander was usually a lieutenant or senior lieutena nt; the technicians were warrant officers (praporshchiki); the driver and g unner were sergeants; and the enlisted just that. As they were all part of the Missile and Artillery Troops (RAV in Russian) they wore black shoulder straps piped in red with crossed cannon on them. The lieutenant had two gol d stripes with two or three small stars on them, the warrant officers cross hatched gold and black with one or two stars, the sergeants one broad or th ree narrow yellow transverse stripes, and the enlisted bare shoulder boards . In later years they would also sport the RAV branch patch on their left s leeve. Based on their somewhat static positions you could probably pick any of them and assign a rank to him (nobody stands out as either leader or fo llower in this set!)
Two small decal sheets are included to provide a single black stripe for t he warhead and also all of the lifting and handling markings for those warh eads.
Overall this is a great set to complete your SCUD launcher and if you have an Ural-4320 you could convert with a crane into a 9T31, you could show th e launcher with one of the more common (and hated) drills - changing out wa rheads! The ICM Zil-131 is also a perfect choice for a command vehicle. But while this is a great kit the lack of proper directions and diagrams eithe r forces the model to ignore its best parts or search for far more detailed information elsewhere.